Middle Waters

"This SF thriller starts out well and displays some nice touches of humor…Clarke, a veteran Navy diving scientist, is especially effective in translating his expertise into fiction in the gripping opening chapter, as an unusual incident claims the lives of two divers…The mystery of the divers’ deaths, and a slew of other oddities…engage scientist Jason Parker." --- Publishers Weekly

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"Odd disappearances and deaths, UFOs, and incredible deep-sea technology threaten to submerge naval scientist Jason Parker in alien intrigue.
   In James Cameron’s cinematic blockbuster The Abyss, the nail-biting tale of undersea disaster and deep-water military jeopardy took a sudden detour into being an alien-first-contact epic. Clarke’s sci-fi techno-thriller debut isn’t too far from Cameron’s original release, though Clarke more neatly flays those different genres …rather than filching from Whitley Strieber or other usual suspects, he gives the creatures his own Rod Serling–esque spin … the story flows nicely and doesn’t anchor itself to the ballast of too much technical jargon. Bonus points for salutes to Fortean Times magazine and the fairy tale of “The Frog Prince.”
   A buoyant undersea-alien yarn that’d make an awesome beach read."

--- Kirkus Reviews

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"Dip into the surreal world of MIDDLE WATERS and discover what an extraordinarily fine adventure John Clarke has given us: a techno science fiction thriller that is at once mercilessly grounded in what we know of our physical world, yet explores our dreamtime fears about the nature of the alien unknowable. It’s part of a tradition that spans Jules Verne to James Cameron, and Clarke—a diving scientist who has studied all of the ways that calamity stalks the conceited, the careless, and the unlucky in the unforgiving deep—writes with authority. His encyclopedic knowledge of the hidden ocean world, combined with his gift for storytelling, has given us a novel that is unlike any other. It’s the story of a brilliant man, a scientist named Jason Parker, who confronts something that not only challenges his core beliefs, but threatens to destroy them. In a way, it’s the story of all of us, hurtling headlong into the mysterious future. It’s a book I wish I’d written. It’s a book that I will read time and again, and always find something fresh."    ---Max McCoy, Novelist, Journalism Professor, Diver.

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"A promising first book by author, John Clarke, Middle Waters is a leap into a thriller like nothing you've read before.

    Our hero, Parker, is a skeptical but incurably curious Navy scientist who pursues clues into an alien underwater world filled with danger and frog-like aliens. His own government becomes the enemy as he finds himself more and more embroiled in a tangled intrigue that will satisfy believers and non-believers in extraterrestrial life, alike.

    This is a page-turner that will take you through the depths of the Marianas Trench, and into the air for two plane crashes, which our hero survives, one with the help of an alien astral voice projection. There is also Laura, an adventurous and unpretentiously lovely graduate student, as a love interest. At stake: the survival of the aliens, and human life on earth itself.

    Don't start this read at bedtime, if you plan to get any sleep!"

   --- Rachel Scott (Physician, Journalist, and Author)

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"What do you get when a Navy scientist cum amateur pilot with a Jules Verne-sized imagination decides to apply his considerable writing chops to fiction? A fast-paced SciFi thriller replete with SEALS, spooks and an arsenal of cutting edge subsea technology— from SIVA rebreathers and supercavitating Shkval torpedoes to remote sensing, null wave signalling and superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDS). There’s no doubt that Dr. John Clarke is deep in his element and his nerdy humor sweetens the ride.
Did I mention aliens?
That is, of course, precisely what Clarke’s self-styled protagonist Jason Parker must figure out.
“Middle Waters” captured my imagination and surprised me all the way to the epilogue. I just didn’t want to put it down." --- Michael Menduno

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"Pleasantly surprised: John Clarke weaves together a multifaceted action-packed sci-fi thriller. His masterful synthesis of science, diving, aviation, futuristic technologies, and aliens kept me reading through the night. I hear there is a second novel in the works. Can't wait to continue the journey!!!"  --- Amazon customer

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"This novel is fascinating. Personally, I never put much credence in clairvoyance and some of the other psychic phenomena that appear in Middle Waters, but Clarke pulled me in, seemingly without effort – Bravo Zulu! The alien angle was fascinating and quite believable within the context of the story. Clarke's characters were three-dimensional, and he even managed to generate some depth-of-character for a couple of the aliens who played meaningful roles."

--- Robert G. Williscroft, author of Operation Ivy Bells and The Starchild Compact


"An entertaining read:  This novel about space aliens underwater was fun to read. The description of the morphology and communications of the aliens were imaginative, but the diving tech and aviation were completely credible." --- bethweiser 

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"John Clarke's controversial book Middle Waters is an imaginative and yet realistic page turner. I enjoyed the ultimate sense of humor in Middle Waters that sets it apart from other science fiction writing. Middle Waters would make a wonderful comedic movie. As well the description of some locations in the book brought back fond and vivid memories. I am very hopeful that Dr. Clarke will continue to develop Jason Parker in future writings and look forward to his next book." --- Amazon customer

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"Great book!!! The book kept me interested all the time, I enjoyed it very much." --- Amazon customer

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Middle Waters ... is a skillfully recounted “good story” communicating the author’s strong acquaintance with science, diving, flying, and the mechanisms of governmental bureaucracy. Authentic characters are expertly developed in a tale written in a robust language using verbal skills supporting a deep research knowledge. John Clarke’s intimate familiarity with naval underwater systems allows for a seamless blending of truth and fiction into an exquisite moving narrative. Conspiracy theories journey from psychological distance viewing, to scuba diving rebreathers, to top secret details of frog shaped shadow people; a truly believable story. I anxiously anticipate his next book. --- Maggie

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"John Clarke's ability to make me see and understand the technicalities of deep sea diving and keep me on the edge of my seat is nothing short of brilliant. I look forward to reading more about Jason Parker whom I believe will be the next Alex Cross."      

 --- Joy S. (Avid reader)

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"From the opening chapter, Middle Waters by John Clarke pulls you into an intriguing world where hard science merges with the paranormal and advanced alien life here on earth. From cover to cover, a thoroughly engaging and thought provoking read that keeps you turning each page." --- Amazon Customer, U.K.

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"This is one of the most fascinating, exciting and amazing novels I have read in some time!!!!! Many times during my reading I was on the edge of my seat, almost burned up my Kindle and Ipad while reading it....A Very Great Read!!!!" --- J.R. Fowler (Navy Deep Sea Saturation Diver)

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"Prepare for adventures from the depths of the ocean to the far reaches of outer space, and everywhere in-between! Middle Waters offers excitement and intrigue to readers of all types; as John Clarke paints a vivid picture that reflects his long experience in military special operations, aviation, and diving. Many other unique and fascinating surprises await the reader in this action-packed story! You won't want to put it down!" --- DeepSeaGerg (Navy Deep Sea Diver)

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"A great read that guides you through some of the complexities and science of deep sea diving whilst simultaneously keeps you 'immersed' in a fascinating sci-fi plot with many twists and turns."

--- Rachael S., U.K.

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"Excellent read!!! John Clarke’s masterful knowledge of both aviation and diving science make it easy for him to blur the lines between science and science fiction! This book is an amazingly entertaining first novel, a true ‘page-turner’ that will leave you wondering what facts you’ve learned and what came from Clarke’s imagination!" --- Kindle reader

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"Hard to put down. I received this book as a gift and it kept me reading way too late for a few nights. It was great! John Clarke is already famous as a diving scientist, but he may become even more well known as an outstanding author. Well done, can't wait to read the next one."

--- Rooddog